Ex-PM Deve Gowda’s JD(S) joins NDA, BJP says will strengthen ‘New India, Strong India’

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s party, the Janata Dal (Secular), formally joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Friday, and is expected to soon stitch up a seat-sharing deal in Karnataka ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Deve Gowda’s son and party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J.P. Nadda in Delhi Friday, following which Nadda posted they wholeheartedly welcomed JD(S) in the alliance. He said this would further strengthen the NDA and the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a “New India, Strong India”.

As he left Bengaluru Thursday evening, Kumaraswamy told reporters that there had been no discussion yet on seat-sharing. The former Karnataka chief minister said he would discuss in detail the situation in all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state with the BJP leadership.

Earlier this month, BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa said the two parties were talking seats, and that the JD(S) would be given four. The party’s parliamentary board member later clarified that there was no final word on it as Modi and Shah were “busy with other responsibilities”.

The BJP swept the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, winning 25 seats, while a party-backed Independent won one. The Congress and JD(S) won one seat each.

JD(S) contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress, as both parties were then in a coalition government under the Chief Ministership of Kumaraswamy.

In the 2023 state elections, however, the Congress trounced the national party bagging 135 seats. The BJP got 66 and the JD(S) 19.

JD(S) had earlier formed state governments in coalition with both the BJP and Congress respectively for 20 months from January 2006, and for 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as chief minister.

Also read: JD(S) says ‘no discussion on seat sharing’ a day after BJP’s Yediyurappa says ‘4 seats finalised’